Concert poster picture

Le Laudi : June 2009

Choir 2000
The Cambridge Orchestra
Conductor: Peter Britton

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral)

First U.K. Performance of
Hermann Suter's
Le Laudi (1924)
(Canticle of the Sun by Saint Francis of Assisi)
Amy Moore, Louise Crane, Andrew Kennedy, Ben Davies
and the Sawston Junior Choir

SUNDAY 21 JUNE 7.30pm


On Sunday June 21st, at 7:30 in West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge Choir 2000 gave the first performance in the UK of Herman Suter's "Le Laudi".

An open dress rehearsal was held in the Gropius Hall, Impington Village College on Saturday 20 June.

The work requires a lavish cast of adult choir, children's choir, soloists and a large orchestra. It was performed with soloists: Amy Moore, Louise Crane, Andrew Kennedy, Ben Davies plus the Sawston Junior Choir and the Cambridge Orchestra, and conducted by Peter Britton.

Here are some reviews of the event :

David Hill

Few artistic organisations are prepared to include more than a minimal risk in any programming fearing the financial consequences of a small but appreciative audience. How refreshing to come across a regional choral society, therefore, prepared to mount a work never heard in the UK previously and by a composer few, even amongst the musical élite, had even heard of.

It was a gloriously uplifting occasion with all the performers revelling in the exotic harmonic sound-world in which Hermann Suter's 'Le Laudi' is immersed. The text is St Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Sun' - a Paean of Praise on God's Creation - and which left me wondering why the words haven't been set more often? The work requires large forces, including a children's choir and a symphonic-sized orchestra as well as a large choir and four soloists - all with very demanding roles.

It was a triumph under the expert leadership of Peter Britton whose impressive mastery of the score provided the performers with a confidence to enjoy the fruits of their labours. The Sawston Junior Choir provided a laser-beam sound and were a model of how a children's choir should sing. The orchestra, particularly the woodwind and brass, were very impressive. The soloists were absolutely on top of their requirements, Choir 2000 showed excellent attack and intonation and, although they were occasionally drowned, it didn't affect my enjoyment of the occasion.

In Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony as well as in 'Le Laudi', it was Peter Britton's excellent, musical and authoritative conducting which held the evening together. The Beethoven could have benefitted from more rehearsal but there were some very distinguished sounds, particularly from the woodwind. A most enjoyable occasion and 'Le Laudi' should be more widely experienced.

Thanks to Choir 2000 and Peter Britton for revealing it to us all.

Histon and Impington courier
"CHOIR 2000 presents a first for Swiss choral favourite"
Making music
Making music Newsletter October 2009

"Le Laudi" is based on the 'Canticle of the Sun' by Francis of Assisi. It was composed in 1924 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Basel Choral Society. It is regularly performed in Switzerland and elsewhere on the continent, but so far the work as a whole has not found its way across the channel. Choir 2000 aims to change this. Part of the grant was used to buy 120 vocal scores. These will subsequently be made available to other choral societies in Britain, with the hope that Le Laudi will become a standard part of the British choir repertoire. The grant was also spent on hire of orchestral parts and coaching of the Children's choir.

Sunday's performance was be preceded at 7:00 by an introductory talk given by Dr Timothy Carney, Associate Professor of Music at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Dr Carney wrote his doctoral thesis about Suter and Le Laudi, and conducted the first US performance of Le Laudi in Honolulu at the 3rd Annual Hawai`i International Choral Festival in July 2000.

Choir 2000 is grateful to Dr Carney for his enthusiastic support in the early stages of this project.


The soloists:

Amy Moore (soprano)

Amy Moore: picture

Amy Moore started singing as a child with her local church choir in Histon and made her stage debut the age of 13 in a performance of Britten's Albert Herring with Apollo Opera. Amy later went on to study at Royal Holloway College (as a choral scholar) and Trinity College of Music, London. She is currently a member of the choir of All Saints Church, Margaret Street, directed by Peter Brough, and enjoys a variety of solo recital and oratorio work. She has sung with Tenebrae, The Gabrieli Consort, The Tallis Scholars, Polyphony, The Sixteen, The English Concert, La Grande Chappelle and The BBC Singers. As a soloist, her repertoire is varied, spanning composers from Bach, Buxtehude and Purcell, to Messiaen and Poulenc, taking in, amongst others, Handel, Mozart and Rossini along the way. In addition to her performing work, Amy also teaches singing at Chigwell School. She directed and conducted the Chigwell student performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas last year and Mozart's Magic Flute earlier this year. Amy studies singing with Sophie Grimmer.

Amy has sung many times with Choir 2000 as soloist, most recently in June 2007 in Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Great Mass in C minor".


Louise Crane (alto)

Louise Crane: picture

Louise Crane studied at the Guildhall and later at Royal Northern College of Music. & National Opera Studio. As an opera singer she has worked as a principal artist with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, ENO, the Monnaie (Brussels), Opéra de Lyon, the Aldeburgh Festival, Chelsea Opera Group, Opera Factory and Mid-Wales Opera, as well as with D'Oyly Carte as principal contralto She is a long-standing member of Opera della Luna and has given concert performances in settings as varied as Radio 2's "Friday Night is Music night" and King's College Cambridge Louise is a Vocal tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Andrew Kennedy (tenor)

Andrew Kennedy (tenor) picture

Andrew Kennedy studied at King's College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music in London. He was a member of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He has won numerous prizes and awards including the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Prize. He is a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award winner and won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artists' Award in 2006. He was also a member of BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Scheme. His operatic roles include Tito La Clemenza di Tito Opéra de Lyon, Tom Rakewell The Rake's Progress , La Monnaie, Opéra de Lyon and at the Stresa Festival; Vere Billy Budd, Houston Grand Opera; Sadok Solomon Bregenz Festival; Tamino The Magic Flute English National Opera, Flute A Midsummer Night's Dream Royal Opera House, Jaquino Fidelio Glyndebourne Festival, Ferrando Così fan tutte Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Nemorino L'elisir d'amore Opera North. Concert highlights include various engagements with London Symphony Orchestra, Edinburgh International Festival, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic and the BBC Proms. He is also noted for his orchestral performances of Britten. As a very popular song recitalist on demand, Andrew also gives numerous recitals in Europe and the UK. Andrew's fast growing discography includes solo discs of songs by Vaughan Williams and Gurney; Peter Warlock songs; Strauss Songs; a disc of William Dennis Browne, Gurney and Eugene Goosens; and Liszt Songs due for release in 2009. Plans in 2008/09 include Tom Rakewell at La Scala, Shepherd Tristan und Isolde for Glyndebourne and concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Norrington), BBC Philharmonic (Noseda), Philharmonia Orchestra and (Salonen), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Ashkenazy), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Gatti), and a recital at the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau.

Ben Davies (bass)

Ben Davies (bass) picture

Ben Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music. His roles include Sailor (Dido & Aeneas) for William Christie and Deborah Warner at the Vienna Festival; Ubalde (Armide – Gluck) for the Buxton Festival; Aeneas (Dido & Aeneas) under Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Opéra de Lyon; Judge (Das Wunder der Heliane - Korngold) under Vladimir Jurowski; Guglielmo (Così fan Tutte); Bartolo and Antonio (The Marriage of Figaro); Polyphemus (Acis & Galatea); Bass (The Fairy Queen); Amis (Le Pauvre Matelot – Milhaud); Private Willis (Iolanthe); Marcello (La Bohème) in scenes for The Lesley Garrett Show, BBC and covers of Achilla (Giulio Cesare), Bass (The St Matthew Passion), Betto di Signa (Gianni Schicchi), Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte) and Krušina (The Bartered Bride) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Recent concert performances include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the Fauré Requiem and both the St Matthew and John Passions for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen; Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Purcell’s Ode on St Cecilia’s Day for Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Bach’s St John Passion with the Milano Orchestra Verdi for Robert King and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, C Minor Mass and Requiem with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists. He recently made his Wigmore Hall debut with Bach’s Italian Cantata ‘Amore traditore’. Other notable concert performances include Mozart’s concert aria ‘Cosi dunque tradisci’ for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Rutter’s Mass of the Children in the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, the Verdi Requiem in Leeds Town Hall and Bach’s solo cantata Ich habe genug in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. Plans for the future include revivals of Deborah Warner’s Dido and Aeneas in Vienna, London and Amsterdam, Fairy Queen with Harry Christophers at the Edinburgh Festival and the British premiere of Hermann Suter’s Le Laudi for Choir2000 in Cambridge.
Ben has sung twice before as soloist with Choir 2000, in 2005 in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and in 2006 in Fauré's Requiem and Puccini's Messa di Gloria.

Support and Sponsorship

Choir 2000 gratefully acknowledges the grant of £5000 from the Arts Council for 120 scores of the work, which will be available for hire to other choirs wishing to perform the work. Contact: info2000@choir2000.org.

Choir 2000 would like to thank the following organisations and individuals who have given support for this event :

Cambridge University Press
Inter Retia Systems
(Computer Networking and systems Integration) 83 Pixmore Way, Letchworth Garden City, Herfordshire SG6 3TP Tel: 01462 682061
Anthony Burrows
(Patent and Trade Mark Agent) Business Centre West, Avenue One Business Park, Letchworth Garden City, Herfordshire SG6 2HB Tel: 01462 481755
Impington Village College
Sawston Village College
plus all our other supporters.

Special thanks to Professor R. Kirkpatrick at the Department of Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge University, for his advice on the translation of the text.


Le Laudi

The following text (opens in new window) is freely translated from the German introduction to the score. This linked document (opens in separate window) is a translation of the text of Le Laudi

More information about Herman Suter can be found at this website : Herman Suter